Made up of 9 islands which are divided into three groups, the Azores Islands are located in the heart of the Atlantic and are a land full of natural beauty. An autonomous region officially called the Autonomous Region of the Azores, the islands are one of two autonomous regions of Portugal. Once known primarily for fishing and ranching, the islands today are quickly growing as some of the most popular location for travel in Portugal.
From beaches to vineyards, geysers to waterfalls, these islands are rich in diversity and ideal for any type of traveler. A unique culture, luxurious accommodations, fantastic festivals, World Heritage Sites and rich ecological diversity make each island stand out from others around the world. For many travelers today, nature is the star of this show. Originated of 1766 volcanoes which are found here, 9 of which are still active, the Azores are alive. The Azores Geopark was created to protect this diversity and unique geology including 121 geosites which are scattered throughout the entire area. Caves, grottoes, calderas, hot springs and more are perfect for a day or longer of exploring. Drive, swim, bike or hike your way through this unique destination for travel.
Also popular throughout the area is whale and dolphin watching. 24 types of cetaceans can be found in these waters including multiple species of dolphins as well as Blue Whales, Sperm Whales, Baleen Whales and many others. Once harvested by fishermen in the region, whaling in the traditional sense may be over however, today, millions of visitors have the opportunity to see these magnificent creatures up close an personal on outings designed for viewing not killing. Trips can be planned on many islands in the Azores including the islands of S. Miguel, Terceira, and Pico.
Another common activity in the Azores is to eat. Foodies from around the world flock to this locale for local recipes which date back hundreds of years made of only the freshest ingredients by talented chefs. Of course, fish is the primary food of the Azores however, the diversity with which it is prepared is what sets it apart from others. The Azores are also renowned for their unique seafood which includes limpets, barnacles and locust lobsters as well. Paired with local wines, it is hard to leave the table here.
Whether you are relaxing in the sun on Santa Maria, the sunshine isle, exploring the diversity unique to the area on the Island of Corvo, part of the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve or even dining out in Sao Miguel, you will not be disappointed in these enchanting Atlantic islands.
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